Are you feeling beaten down by the incessant blows of life and wondering whether there is a place where you can vent without being judged or attacked? A place that will soothe your soul, nurture you back to your normal self, and make you ready to take on the world again! Such a place can be termed a safe space, an area conducive to sound mental and physical health.
A safe space can be either ideological or physical, it can be a tangible place, created by somebody else, or your own unique headspace, where you can check-in anytime you feel distressed. There are a lot of opinions about the validity and necessity of safe spaces. In this article, we will try to elaborate on the importance of having a safe space in your life and how it can affect your mental health.
What Is A Safe Space?
A safe space generally denotes an area or an environment that offers comfort and support. Such a place is a safe zone where you can feel relaxed and protected from either unpleasant internal thoughts or external persecutions. It should enable you to be your authentic self, help you to cope with the various stresses of life, recharge, rejuvenate, and feel much better than what you were feeling before.
A safe space allows the free exchange of thoughts without the risk of persecution. Such a space exudes inclusion, support, and a feeling of belonging, especially among minorities and historically oppressed groups of people. Therefore, A Safe Space can be:
It can be your positive headspace that empowers you to have a better disposition of life. It is your unique world that you build and visit, using certain mindfulness techniques.
A building or room dedicated to a specific purpose and group, where community members can assemble without any fear of physical or emotional harm. Your own home and office can have a customized space that will help you to cope with life stressors. Campuses of schools and colleges often have dedicated safe spaces to make students of racial and sexual minorities feel safe and included.
A friendly atmosphere that fosters inclusion and offers support to struggling or marginalized groups. According to research, 12 Step Programs like AA and others dealing with addiction, abuse, etc., have a positive impact on well-being.
Why Do You Need A Safe Space?
We all need a safe haven where we can be ourselves, connect with others or with our own emotions, and feel shielded from all the negativities of the world. There can be numerous reasons and benefits of a safe space; here we will take a look at the most important ones.
When we can open up about our troubles in front of a loved one, we get to drop our burdens, feel validated, and also receive helpful tips and ideas. Women and young girls facing sexual abuse and/or domestic violence often find safe spaces as a lifesaver. Individuals who battle addiction, discrimination, stigma, and various mental health issues find safe spaces helpful to connect with fellow survivors and to navigate through life. Students belonging to the LGBTQ community, who have to endure harassment and bullying, get a lot of support from educators and peers in the designated safe spaces in schools and colleges.
As we cruise through our high stressed lives every day, sometimes it can become all too overwhelming. We forget our blessings, little joys, and even the reasons that motivate and drive us to utilize our potential. At times like these, we need to find a quiet corner, relax, slow down all the racing thoughts in our minds, and just practice mindfulness. Research also validates the efficacy of relaxation for a sound mind.